From Maya to Blender 2.8

Hello, I have been using maya (since v4.5) mostly for modeling low poly game objects, so far I love Maya and my workflow is quite fast and simple (due to these last 16+ years using it), but later this year I will be moving to another country and I won’t be able to afford the license fee for an extended period of time and I’m looking for alternatives that can be compatible with my current workflow.

In maya what I mostly do is build the high poly model base then I do a retopology using quad draw and finally do the UVs before sending the models to Substance Painter and Marmoset. So I’m basically not using most of the software’s features and only limit the use for the modeling and UVs.

I tried Blender 2.5 and hated it, a few months ago I installed 2.78(a?) and liked it a bit with the maya setting but I felt it a bit slow on the workflow but felt lost specially on the UVs.

So I wanted to ask if Blender 2.8 will have a more simple/straightforward workflow OR if there will be (or are) some tutorials that deal with the modeling, retopology and UVs for it (v2.8)?, I have been trying to stay away from the tutorials of older versions to avoid getting confused later on if there are mayor changes in the new version of Blender.

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Retopology is Blender can happen with a wide variety of tools and there are also external tools, addons, commercial or not ,most popular being RetopoFlow.

I do not think anything change retopology wise on Blender 2.8.

It’s all about biting the bullet and learn how Blender works. This is a common pitfall for Maya users, Blender cares very little for the popularity of Maya. We rarely even discuss other 3d apps in our forums. Blender has its own way of doing things and in many cases can be far from the familiar way.

You will need at least 3 months to get into Blender from Maya, which means heavy study, tutorials etc. There is no magic pill to take. Blender 2.8 wise not much has changed and tutorials already pop up like mushrooms.

The good news is that Blender has by far the best documentation mainly in form of YouTube video tutorials. So finding how things work is relatively easy. So start doing those tutorials and do not cut any corners, every bit of knowledge counts a lot and Blender is so vast its easy to get lost in it.


Hi Kilon, thanks for the reply.

Blender cares very little for the popularity of Maya.
For me, I like Maya because it is easy to work with and to the point so you work fast instead of going to the branches or digging deeply to do simple or straight forward things and not because it is popular, which might be a misconception from blender users that think we like Maya because it’s just popular and not because it’s easy to work with.

You will need at least 3 months to get into Blender from Maya
Wow, is it really that bad?, Zbrush was far easier to get into from a Maya/Mudbox perspective O_o

There is no magic pill to take
I didn’t ask for one, the maya interface in Blender works quite nicely (in V 2.78) and makes it easier to get into blender and in a few hours I was able to do the basics of modeling without tutorials, but there are some very cumbersome parts in the way Blender works that pulls you out and slows you down quite a bit.
So since everyone is talking about V2.8 as being a super improvement and easier to work with over previous versions I wanted to know if it was much more straight forward to work with on the modeling side, but apparently is not?.

That was not my opinion, I meant that apps like Maya prefer to follow industry standards. For example Blender had right select as default button. Blender has a 3d cursor etc.

Blender is a monster, it comes with compositor, video editor,powerful sculpting tools and tons of other stuff. If you want a full Blender introduction yes. If you want to learn Blender in full you will need 3 years or more , depending how deep you want to go. If you want to learn to move a cube around you can learn that in 5 minutes. So it largely depends on how much you want to learn.

Blender 2.8 popularity it mostly attributed to Eevee a new real time render engine. There are many other improvements too but Eevee is by far the most popular.

Modeling in Blender is super easy once you know how to do it, mainly because Blender’s polished polygon tools and powerful sculpting tools etc. So I would be surprised if Maya was better on this. From what I have heard modeling wise Maya has a lot of weaknesses and it wins over Blender on animation and UV editing. Personally I cannot make that comparison, I once used Maya I found the UI quite bad and switched to Softimage and after Autodesk acquired it I switched to Blender and I have been with Blender ever since.

Talking generally wont help, you can ask question in the forum about specific issues you have. There are dozens of way doing the same thing , its about picking the right for you. Everyone likes to work differently and Blender is designed to fit many different workflows.

For me modeling in Blender is super straightforward.

Well, if you can describe what straight forward workflow is then maybe we can offer you some pointers. To me the workflow in Blender is as straight/direct as possible, in fact much direct than Maya, and I used Maya for a long time starting in 2000.


You may look into 2.8, it should be more intuitive to dig into.
I’ll advice you to use blender out of the box, without using maya setup, because it’s better to use it as it should. In fact these keybinding are good if you only need to use blender as a side app and only do few things inside.
If you want to use it as your main application it’s better to stick to the defaults.

Anyway from what you describe you need , I’m sure blender will fit perfectly, it’s a different application with some unconventional stuff, but it’s still 3D anyway.

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I don’t want to turn this into a rant since that isn’t my intention, but there are little annoyances, things that you need to do extra steps or hitting more keys to achieve.

Just to name a few, no double click for quick select either objects, edge loops, etc, you have to alt+shift+click, and I haven’t figured how to select a specific row (in maya you select for instance an edge, shift double click the last edge you want and it will select the edges between those two).
Also having a menu pop up when you do some things and you must click on an option even though it’s kind of redundant. I mean, I’m on edge selection mode and I want to delete an edge, there is a pop up menu asking what I want to delete… which by the way, I tell it to delete the edge and it also deletes the faces next to it so I have to look into this menu and go for a “dissolve edge”. In maya I just press delete and it deletes only the edge, which was what I basically wanted.
I also have to press enter much more in blender to accept or apply a change, for instance I use the knife tool, in maya I can press G and it applies the change and brings up the last tool I used, so I keep making cuts very fast. I tried this in Blender and I had to hit enter and look for the tool every time I wanted to make a cut making the process a bit slow.

UVs are another issue, first impression I had was, its not very comfortable.

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Thanks, I mostly want it for modeling (high poly, low poly retopoly and UVs), at least for now I’m not interested in rigging, animation, rendering, FXs or anything else, so my needs are kind of basic and I just wanted to know if the modeling aspect in V2.8 was improved from V 2.78.

Also if there was a tutorial implementing a retopology approach and UVs since I think I saw somewhere there where improvements on those two.

Double click to select edge loops is available if you enable the “emulate 3 button mouse” in the preferences. But in fact this was already the default months ago, but it was changed for some weird reason.

It’s ctrl + shift + click.

You’re right, that’s annoying.

Use the “active” knife tool for more freedom…

there is the new tool system that allow you to set a tool (ex : extrude, spin) and work with it using manipulators.
that can be convenient but still I found faster to work with shortcuts, in the end you should give 2.8 a go and you’ll quickly see if that fits to you. Latter maybe ask here for some specific things , like for retopo buying retopoflow can be great, it really depends on what you’re doing.

Anyway i’m not sure it’s available for 2.8 yet … And retopo is still manageable with built-in tools.

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Thank you, it seems the Blender I have doesn’t want me haha.
I activated the emualte 3 button mouse checkbox and nothing happened.
Ctrl shift click didn’t work for me either :frowning:

I will try it out for sure.

Are you running the latest beta?

I’m using V2.78.

Oh that’s why.
All of those things I’m talking about are for Blender 2.8.

Haha ok, I will try them out once V2.8 goes out.

Why not download and try it now? :thinking:

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Hi Glen. Noticed you’d like to try out some features of your current workflow in Blender. I would recommend to stick to blender 2.79b.
I’m a Blender trainer, to: specifically train you into what you’re looking for.
Blender is huge (21 main interaction modes) and a lot of sub modes.
I came from Softimage. Regarding manipulators, I still can’t get used to… AD’s. Blender is faster.
Let me know if you are interested in a custom training program to dominate your peesonal maya workflow in Blender.

You should be alright, modeling and retopo work very well (hipoly assets are slow right now in 2.8 but hopefully that should be solved before release… hopefully) and UVs are okay. Not as cool as in Maya - especially considering the latest updates to maya’s uv editor, but there are excellent addons to bridge the gap (magicUV, TexTools).

I hope it understandable, English isn’t my native language…

About the pop-up menus, there is a nice feature. If you’il look closely at each option, you’il notice that there is one letter with an underline, if you press the letter the option will be selected. For example, x + f will delete a face.

Regarding the wise dissolve per element, use ctrl + x